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Call Volume Burns Bright on Clean Energy Fuels

Traders blaze forth with CLNE calls

by 1/12/2012 12:22 PM
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Clean Energy Fuels (CLNE - 13.96) has been abuzz with call activity today, after the alternative energy fuel provider revealed that it expects to open 70 fueling stations in 33 states by the end of this year. As a result, more than 4,000 of these options have been traded so far, which is 11 times above the norm. At least 1,429 calls have changed hands at the near-the-money January 14 strike -- most of them at the ask price, pointing to buyer-driven volume. However, this option currently holds open interest of 3,194 contracts, making it difficult to discern whether new positions are being initiated here today.

From a broader sentiment standpoint, it appears that this preference for calls over puts is relatively rare for CLNE. According to data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the equity sports a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.52, which ranks in the 97th percentile of its annual range. Essentially, traders are snapping up bearish options over bullish at a much faster-than-usual pace.

In the same skeptical vein, short interest on CLNE edged up by 1.72% during the past two reporting periods, and now accounts for a hefty 24.28% of the company's float. In fact, it would take 18 days to buy back these shorted shares, at the stock's average daily trading volume.

On the technical front, CLNE has gained more than 12% year-to-date, and has outperformed the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by roughly 9% during the past 60 sessions. A look at the charts shows that the stock is trading well above resistance at its 200-day moving average, a trendline it has not closed above since early September.

At last check, CLNE is up about 7% and is trading at $13.96.


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